EU to start measuring ‘embodied’ carbon emissions from buildings

(EurActiv, 1 Dec 2021) The European Commission is considering a new EU-wide requirement to measure the carbon emissions associated with construction materials throughout their whole lifecycle but is expected to stop short of regulating for now.

Buildings are responsible for around 40% of the EU’s energy consumption and 36% of its greenhouse gas emissions. To tackle these, the European Union has embarked on a huge renovation effort in order to reach its legally-binding objective of cutting emissions down to net-zero by 2050.

The European Commission aims to introduce minimum energy performance standards for all buildings by 2035 as part of the upcoming revision of the EU’s Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD), due on 14 December.

However, little progress has been made on reducing the environmental impact of construction materials used in the building sector.

“Globally, 11% of emissions are from embodied carbon in construction – the emissions created from the construction, demolition and the wider supply chain of a building,” reads a letter by the #BuildingLife project, a coalition of industry stakeholders representing the entire building value chain.

Their aim is to persuade the Commission to consider a so-called “Whole Life Carbon” (WLC) approach tackling building emissions from the whole supply chain, including the construction and demolition sectors. 

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EurActiv, 1 Dec 2021: EU to start measuring ‘embodied’ carbon emissions from buildings